Booking Through Thursday: Celluloid

Booking Through Thursday

1. In your opinion, what is the best translation of a book to a movie?
2. The worst?
3. Had you read the book before seeing the movie, and did that make a difference? (Personally, all other things being equal, I usually prefer whichever I was introduced to first.)

And, by all means, expand this to as long a list as you like. I’m notoriously awful myself at narrowing down to one favorite ANYTHING. So, feel free to list as many “good” or “bad” movie-from-books as you like. (Heaven knows that’s what I’ll be doing….)

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

Recently, I watched BBC's version of Jane Eyre with Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens. Best adaptation ever! Come to think of it the BBC does an excellent job with all it's adaptations. I've seen Pride and Prejudice, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Bleak House and Daniel Deronda. All were great. Another good one I remember is House of Mirth with Gillian Anderson. There were a couple of differences, but not many, good considering how difficult it must have been to translate into film. I also enjoyed Little Women with Winona Ryder, Sense and Sensibility, Bridget Jones Diary (the 1st) and Bram Stoker's Dracula.

As for the worst, I must erase those from my mind. All I can think of is Practical Magic. Not because it was horrible but because after I saw the movie I read the book and it hardly related to it at all. Some people had a problem with Kyra Knightley in Pride and Prejudice but I liked it- not as much as the Colin Firth one ;) I also think The Haunting of Hill House was a stinker.

I know there will probably be a lot of Harry Potter/LOTR comparisons but I've only watched the movies . (Put away the pitchforks!)

I usually like the book version more but if the movie was really good I get a bit prejudiced and prefer the movie.


  1. I didn't know Practical Magic was based on a book... silly me! The Colin Firth P&P was far better than the Kiera Knightly one, but they both had their good points.

    I have a BIL who works as a screenwriter, adapting books to movies, and I wouldn't want his job for anything.

    thanks for visiting!

  2. Hi Chris, I have Pride and Prejudice in my TBR but haven't got around to it yet. I haven't watch the movie either. I hope to do so very soon.

    Happy BTT!

  3. I LOVE the BBC Pride and Prejudice version. All the actors are perfectly suited to their roles (I love Jane and Elizabeth's mother and father).

    I still haven't read the book of Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman, although I do own a copy of it.

  4. I really have to get out there and read some more Jane!

    Watch To Kill a Mockingbird now that you've read it!! It really is a fantastic movie!!

    So glad to see you back!

  5. I loved that BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre, too. It was much better than earlier films of it. I loved Daniel Deronda, though I've never read the book. I also loved Little Women and Sense and Sensibility. I thought the A&E P&P was much more faithful to the books. I liked the Keira Knightly P&P in itself, though.

  6. JAWS was better than the book.

    Over at my blog at First Offenders ( today, Jeff Shelby takes a look at the Bourne books/movies. I love the movies but haven't seen the books.

    And yesterday I blogged about Harry Potter. I've both read the books and seen the movies, and the first movies were too literal and too long. But the last two have been interesting. Can't wait to see this new movie.

  7. The BBC P&P is pretty close to perfect, but the Keira Knightly version has its high points, too. It had a lot more energy than the BBC version (although that was partly from trying to cram everything into one movie.)

    The only really bad version of P&P I've seen is the 1940 MGM film starring Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier---it's incredibly bad, but hysterically funny, too.

  8. "As for the worst, I must erase those from my mind." - You and me both! Haha

    I recently watched the Jane Eyre mini series and have to agree with you. It was very well done.

  9. I loved the BBC Pride and Prejudice; I'd forgotten how much until I saw your list!
    I've only watched LoTR, never read them. I'm perfectly happy with the movie interpretation, though; if the film trilogy is 12 hours long, imagine how long it would take to read the books!

  10. I just got the first disc of Bleak House from Blockbuster Online. I can't wait to watch it.

  11. ALL of those BBC mini series are SO good; I forgot to mention them!
    I think they are EQUAL in excellence to the books...
    P and P especially was SO perfect. The Elizabeth was EXACTLY the way I imagined!

  12. Hi Chris, thanks for visiting! I enjoyed Harry Potter's and LOTR's movies, though I haven't got the chance to read their books yet. I still think the book versions are better, hehe.

    Happy BTT!

  13. i have a few actually.

    American Psycho
    Sense and Sensibility(with Emma Thompson)
    Romeo and Juliet(not a book, I love both the old version with Olivia Husssey and the new one with Claire Danes)
    Fight Club

    I have always thought these films did their original novels/plays justice.

  14. I had completely forgotten that awful movie made from Practical Magic! I agree, it in no way resembled the book.

  15. I agree that Dracula was a great movie- you're talking about Coppola's version right? I wasn't even a fan of the book. I also agree with luvpumpkins about Romeo and Juliet. While I didn't read the first Forrest Gump book, I did read the sequel and if that's any indication, the movie was way better. Gump and Co. was atrocious!

  16. Pride and prejudice BBC mini series & Cold Mountain.


Thanks for visiting! Please leave a comment. I've disabled Anonymous comments since I've had a barrage of Anon spam lately. Sorry about that.
Also, if you leave a legit comment but it contains a spammy link, it will not be published.